favourites with jo chun yan
One of the most powerful ways to realise you are capable of anything is to learn and absorb from others. This is the first interview in a series of kind, humble and intelligent women I admire who work creatively / independently / in a different country. Jo runs her own graphic design and intuition coaching studio and has recently returned from a year living and working in Fukuoka, Japan. We worked together on my branding and this website and the experience was beyond what I expected in many ways. I'm looking forward to working together on future projects with Jo and I hope you enjoy what she has to share xx
name: Jo is short for Joanne. My middle name, Chun Yan is actually my Cantonese name.
work / creative project: I am a graphic designer and intuition coach. I specialise in conscious branding and identity. I love working with people who infuse integrity and consideration into their business and work. At the moment, I’m working on a little creative piece with the beautiful Emmie Rae that we are oh-so-excited about. It’s a seamless convergence of all the things we love, Japan, wellness and conscious living.
scent: Kyoto from Comme Des Garçon - this scent is evocative. I’m sipping matcha in a traditional teahouse hidden down a tiny side street. It is an autumn day on a quiet afternoon in Nara, Japan. The hint of incense wafts through the open doors from a nearby temple. I also love hinoki. I use a hinoki spray for my bedroom. It is incredibly grounding and invites nature into the house.
beverage: Rooibos for days spent in my studio, Bellini on a summer evening.
movement practice: Yoga
rest practice: Sleep. Making space and time for sleep is so important. There have been times in my life when my sleep routine was all over the place and it had a huge impact on me. Waking up in the morning, feeling completely refreshed changes how you approach the day ahead.
spiritual practice: Meditation. I find that so much of what I love doing is a quiet, meditative experience. Cooking and making food with my hands, drawing and sitting in stillness.
work soundtrack: Divers by Joanna Newsom is on my list at the moment
travel: A good face mask for the plane
kitchen: My Vitamix blender
bathroom: I love the Huxley range of skincare products. They have a light oil essence serum that is wonderfully hydrating.
morning: I would love to wake up early, with the sun. This is something I have been trying to get back into as the Melbourne winter has pulled me into a bit of a cocoon. I like making a cup of tea and sitting on my yoga mat after doing a gentle morning flow sequence. I love choosing an incense scent for the morning, opening the curtains to let the sun in and welcoming in the morning air.
evening: I love doing my skincare routine in the evening. I use the Klavuu oil cleanser and follow it up with a waterbased charcoal cleansing bar from Lush. Depending on how my skin is feeling, I would apply either some essence water, a serum and then choose a moisturiser. I love approaching skincare intuitively - checking in with yourself and choosing what your skin needs for the day has improved my skin so much.
Setting up a business that allowed me to work from my laptop independent of location, has helped me keep my work systems simple. It’s this minimalist approach to work that I love.
I think that there are so many things you can do from your laptop so its really about finding an approach that brings your passion and your skills into an offer that works online. Start small (everyone starts at the same point) and just keep taking small steps forwards to build up your business gradually overtime.
Hold space for complete integrity in everything you do in your business and in your life. It’s really embodying your energy at its highest potential so that you can bring this out in your work. Your business often becomes a mirror of how you see yourself and how you approach life so you need to do the inner work to ensure integrity flows through every part.
Living overseas has taught me so much about connecting with people and different cultures. It’s definitely something I would highly recommend to everyone. Moving to Japan and settling into a country where I didn’t speak the language was a wonderful, deeply humbling experience. We take things like language and communication for granted in the country we grew up in but to live in a place where you are essentially starting over from the basic building blocks was incredibly challenging and rewarding. My advice would be to immerse yourself in learning the language because that helps so much with connecting with the people and connecting with the culture.
Again, I think its about starting small - choose a place that you would love to explore and spend a month or a few weeks in that city.